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442                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                CHAP.
afterwards steward, of the Kaim Makam, the first Vizier
of Mohamed Shah. The son entered the service of the
Persian Commander-in-Chief and went to St. Petersburg
in his suite on the occasion of the embassy of Khusru
Mirza. His promotion was rapid until he became Vizier
of the army of Azerbaijan. Later on he represented
Persia on the frontier commission which met at Erzeroum.
Mirza Taki Khan's last appointment was that of Chief
Officer of the Heir-Apparent, who, when he came to the
throne, not unnaturally appointed him Chief Minister.
He disarmed jealousy as far as possible by refusing the
title of Sadr-i-Aa%am^ or " Prime Minister," and assumed
that of dmir-i-Nizam, or "Chief of the Army."
The new Vizier was determined to remedy the various
existing abuses, such as the sale of appointments and
governorships, the enormous number of pensions granted
to unworthy persons, and the robbery of the soldiers by
their officers. At first he made little way, as few Persians
could credit the existence of a minister who was both
truthful and incorruptible. Gradually, however, the word
was passed round that bribery and corruption were of no
avail, and with some public opinion at his back he re-
formed abuse after abuse, and placed the finances of the
country on something resembling a business-like footing.
Naturally his reforms raised up a host of enemies, among
whom was the powerful Queen-mother, but the young
Shah at first supported him loyally, and even gave him
his own sister in marriage.
The Rebellion of the Salar.óln Persia the Turks of
Azerbaijan play the leading part. By custom the Heir-
Apparent governs this province, and upon succeeding to
the throne marches to Teheran surrounded by his staff of
Turks. The army, too, and certainly the most trust-
worthy portion of it, is mainly recruited in this province,
which also supplies all the artillerymen. Consequently
the Kajar dynasty came to be identified with "the Turks,"
and in many cases risings were inspired by hatred of these
alien garrisons ; for the inhabitants of Azerbaijan speak
little or no Persian.
Towards the close of the reign of Mohamed Shah a